How to land a job during tough economic times

Everyone is talking about the Country’s economic crisis and rising unemployment rate. In this article, I will be sharing some of my experiences and advices about the best ways to find a job even during these difficult times.

Few things to keep in mind before you start,

If you are jobless, “a job is a job”.

If you don’t apply for a job, you have no chances of getting it. However if you apply, you have a 50/50 chance at a yes or a no. I know, it sounds simple or even stupid, but many people don’t apply for a job because they think they don’t have any shot a getting the job. So, if you see a job that has some resemblance with your experience and education, go ahead apply. There is nothing you are loosing by applying for a job.

Ok, now let’s get to the point. I will be discussing few things about how to get a job, even during tough times. It’s understandable that many companies are downsizing and cutting jobs but there are many companies that are hiring too. The overall job market has gone down, that means it’s tougher to find a job which also means you have to work equally harder on finding a job.

1) Obviously, the first thing is start looking for a job. I know it sounds simple, but its human nature that we need to be told same things numerous times before we believe in it. So, get out there are start looking. Here are few ways how you can look.

  • Internet is a great place to look for jobs. There are websites like indeed.com, monster.com, careerbuilder.com, etc. Indeed.com is a great website which aggregates jobs from numerous sites all in one place. While searching, search by many keywords and search frequently.

  • Newspaper ads are always one of the best places to look for ads too, depending upon what kind of job you are looking.

  • If there is a university, community college in your area, check their career section frequently. Many universities do not post their ads anywhere other than their own career websites.

  • Again, depending upon what kind of job you are looking for, check the community bulletin boards.’

  • Some companies advertise positions only on their websites. Go through the career websites of the companies you are interested individually and check for job listing.

  • Check with friends and families. Did you know the three stages company goes through in a hiring process? First, they will look for anybody from within the company that can fill the vacant position. Second, they ask their employees if they know of anybody that might be suitable for the open position. Lastly, if they don’t find an ideal candidate from the first two ways, they advertise the position in newspapers and websites. So, ask your friend and family circle regularly if they have any openings at their workplace.

  • This final tip is not a very regular one, and not always suggested, but desperate times calls for desperate measures. Many companies might not have advertised any positions but looking to hire a person soon. Go online and search for industries and companies in your area. Try to find out if the company is a growing company. If it is a growing company chances are they are regularly hiring. In this case, you can go ahead and send an inquiry email with your resume and interests. At the most you might not get any response or get one saying that they are not hiring. But on the other hand you might get an interview too.

One very important think to remember while you are job hunting is, don’t get frustrated and don’t get disappointed by hearing “NO

Another very common misconception people have is that, apply for a job as soon as you find it. People often think if they are the first one to apply or one of the first ones to apply , they have a better chance of getting an interview or getting the job. This is hardly the case. The mistake people make when they hastily apply for the job is that their resume and cover letter is not properly crafted. This will drastically reduce your chances.

Take your time to craft your resume and cover letter. Dont you the same resume and cover letter for all the jobs.

It is very important that the resume and cover letter is tailored to the company's goals and interests.

Go through the job posting and make sure you include most of the keywords in the job posting in your cover letter and resume. Many places will have the secretaries go through the pile of applicants and separate them to: Yes, No, and a, may be pile. Including most of the keywords and having a tailored resume will ensure you in the Yes, or May be pile for the hiring personnel to review instead of falling in the NO pile.

It is important to be confident but not overconfident. I know we have all heard this hundreds of times but still keep forgetting it.

Please check the part II of this article on more resume/cover letter/ application process and interview/ follow-up tips.

Good Luck to all

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